ST. PAUL, Minn. — Evan Trupp used last year’s WCHA Final Five for a set of breakout performances. He scored his first goal in 21 games in the Thursday night game before adding another two on Friday, being named tournament MVP for his efforts.
This year, North Dakota has played only one game so far, but Trupp once again is making his mark, albeit in an unconventional way.
In arguably the most entertaining game of the weekend so far between the Sioux and Colorado College, Trupp found a way to ratchet up the entertainment value.
About five minutes into the third period, Trupp put the puck on his blade and skated the puck about half of the length of the ice essentially lacrosse style before throwing it on net. He hit the outside of the net, but he caught the attention of the already excited Sioux fans.
As to what he was thinking? His teammates can only wonder.
“I was breaking to the net there and I didn’t know what to do; if I should pull up or what,” said Matt Frattin. “He’s been doing things like that. He did it last year at the Final Five, too. Just the creative side of him is good to see.
“You got to see a little bit about what Trupper can do,” said Chay Genoway. “We get to see that almost on a daily basis. He’s a pretty special player. You just shake your head almost; he can do that stuff almost regularly. He tries not to show off too often.”
As for his coach’s thoughts?
“I don’t have any,” Dave Hakstol said before explaining that the move was just classic Trupp. “No, I watched it. That guy’s done so many special, creative things that it doesn’t surprise me, but I’ve never seen him do that. That’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do.
“But he made a great play on it and Evan, the great thing with him is he’s got a great respect for the game and he competes so hard,” Hakstol continued. “He’s not doing it to bring the spotlight to him; he’s just a creative hockey player. You’d have to ask him exactly what he was thinking, but you know what? He skated for over 100 feet with the puck and I think it put everybody back on their heels a little bit, probably including our bench. As you heard Matt [Frattin] comment, he didn’t know what to do, either.
“But it all worked out, and you see him go from that to the play he made on the winning goal and you understand what type of hockey sense Evan has. It’s pretty special.”
Trupp set up Frattin’s third-period winner, but his skate with the puck might be more memorable in the long run.
That being said, his teammates think he can top it.
“Next time, he should score,” said Genoway.